To truly get into the habit of scrapbooking, you're going to be buying a cornucopia of scrapbooking paper. The best part is that each type of paper has a unique trait to fit what you want to do.
• Cardstock: Heavyweight paper available in a rainbow of colors, textures, and weights. Usually used for backgrounds, photo mats, and die cuts.
• Patterned: Paper in a variety of colors, designs, and themes. Usually used as backgrounds and accents.
• Vellum: Translucent paper used for layering, dry embossing, stamping, and more. Comes in a variety of textures and colors.
• Transparencies: Clear acetate sheets ideal for overlays and windows. Often heat-resistant so they can be used for heat-embossing or printed on with computer printers.
• Specialty: Handmade from natural materials. This could include mulberry paper, pulp paper, and mesh-like maruyarna. Comes in a variety of looks, styles, and textures.
First of all, though, you'll want to be sure that you get paper that is...
• Acid-free so that your photos don't fade, change color, darken, or decay over time.
• And lignin-free, which ensures that the papers won't yellow as a reaction to light or heat.